Climbing Mount Everest is the adventure of a lifetime. The planet’s highest peak is an outstanding mountaineering challenge, which yearly attracts hundreds of climbers from throughout the world.
Mount Everest in Tibetan/Sherpa language is called Chomolungma, meaning "Mother Goddess of the Universe". Located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, it proudly stood at an elevation of 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) above sea level and the 5th furthest point from the centre of the Earth. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point.
Mount Everest attracts many highly experienced mountaineers as well as capable climbers willing to hire professional guides. The Northeast Ridge Route of Mount Everest is, along with the South Col Route, one of the most popular climbing routes to the roof of the world.
The Northeast Ridge is sometimes called The Mallory Route since the approach to the mountain was discovered by George Mallory along with Guy Bullock on the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition. He disappeared with Andrew "Sandy" Irvine from the ridge after a summit attempt in 1924. Whether the pair reached the summit is an enduring mystery.
Later on May 25, 1960, the Northeast Ridge Route was climbed by Qu Yin-Hau (China), Wang Fu-zhou (China), and Nawang Gombu (Tibet) and was officially recognized as the first climbers to scale Everest from North side.
Our Expedition begins by driving toward Nepal-Tibet border up to Rasuwagadhi Bridge. We take time to acclimatize with a night at Kyirong (2700m), then we drive to Tingri (4350m) where we spend couple more nights for further acclimatization process. Then we drive to Everest Base camp (5,200m) also called the Chinese base camp, and then trek in the footsteps of George Mallory. However Grand Himalaya's Everest Expedition North program will be flying our guest from Kathmandu to the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa and overland journey across the Tibetan Plateau, and then trek in the footsteps of George Mallory.
It will also give a life-long impression of Tibet and its people, and an insight as well as deep respect for the achievements of the early Everest pioneers.
Grand Himalaya climbs the original route on the north side, pioneered by George Mallory 1921-24. Climbing Everest from the Tibet side is relatively easier and less costly than climbing from the Nepal side, with great beauty and fascinating history. Still, Everest expeditions encounter many seen and unseen obstacles including high altitude, harsh weather conditions and even sheer exhaustion. It is our pleasure to provide support and logistics for experienced and self-reliant climbers.
The Grand Himalaya Sherpa team includes some of the most experienced and skilled climbing Sherpas, whose more than a decade long involvement in the Mountaineering expeditions can surely double the chances of your success on Mt. Everest. Likewise, our hardworking base camp staffs are both well-trained and hospitable.
Climbing Route and High Camps
Routes: Mt. Everest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the north ridge from Tibet, as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the northeast ridge is technically harder and is the more frequently used route after southeast ridge. It was the route used by Mallory and Irwin in 1921 and 1924. This was, however, a route decision dictated more by politics than by design as the Chinese border was closed to the western world in the 1950s after the People's Republic of China invaded Tibet.
Most attempts are made during May before the summer monsoon season. As the monsoon season approaches, a change in the jet stream at this time pushes it northward, thereby reducing the average wind speeds high on the mountain. While attempts are sometimes made after the monsoons in September and October, when the jet stream is again temporarily pushed northward, the additional snow deposited by the monsoons and the less stable weather patterns (tail end of the monsoon) makes climbing extremely difficult.
ABC (Advanced Base Camp) is situated below the North Col at 6,500 m (21,300 ft).
Camp I or North Col (7,010m/23,000ft): To reach Camp I on the north col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col. The climb to Camp I is more straightforward and safer as there will be two fixed ropes all the way up.
Camp II (7,775m/25,500ft): From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp II. There is a long reasonably angled snow slope to 7,500m where we sometimes put our Camp II and it's on a snow ledge. Depending on the needs and conditions of our clients, we either put our camp II at this point on a snow ledge or move further on up a series of rock and gravel steps at 7,775m. Between these 2 camps, it is often very windy and you will probably come across worn and tattered tents from previous year's expeditions.
Camp III (8,230m/27,000 ft): The route crosses the North Face in a diagonal climb to the base of the Yellow Band reaching the site of Camp III. The route remains relatively easy angled, although the gradient increases gently, until the next camp is reached. The camp III is normally on rock, but it used to be snow covered some years ago. The day is rewarded with stupendous views over the glaciers below. What were viewed as big mountains as they dominated the Magic Highway, now more easily blend with the humble backdrop of the Tibetan Plateau and the flat lands beyond. It is the last and the top most camp of every expedition from Tibetan side and standing at this altitude will certainly give you a greater sense of the world below your feet. From Camp III, climbers will make their final summit push.
Summit Day (8848m/29,029ft): Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step; ascending from 8,501 metres (27,890 ft) to 8,534 m (28,000 ft), to the crux of the climb, the Second Step: ascending from 8,577 metres (28,140 ft) to 8,626 m (28,300 ft). (The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the "Chinese ladder", a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in 1975 by a party of Chinese climbers. It has been almost continuously in place since, and ladders have been used by virtually all climbers on the route. Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over: ascending from 8,690 m (28,510 ft) to 8,800 m (28,870 ft). Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached.
A very warm welcome to the Kingdom of Himalayas. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan international airport our representative welcomes you and assists you transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu. After time to get refreshed, evening you'll meet and transfer for welcome dinner in one of the typical Nepalese restaurant in the heart of Kathmandu i.e. Utsav or Nepali Chula (Kitchen). Here you will not simply experience the traditional Nepalese dish but will be entertained with Nepalese traditional dance and folk songs. After the dinner, you will be transferred back to your respective hotel.
Preparation for Everest Expedition; the leader has to attend a formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of expedition, equipments and team composition. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas day after tomorrow. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone's equipment, as Kathmandu is the last opportunity to buy anything missing. You will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides. Overnight at Hotel.
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Bauddhanath: Stupa with its 130 ft. dome. One of the world’s largest Stupa, Bouddha is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Pupshupatinath Temple: Pashupatinath is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu temples. The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty. Swayambhunath: Three kilometres west of Kathmandu city complex locates the one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Stupas, it is said to be 2000 years old. Visitors often call it "Monkey Temple". -After the city tour, our leader or guide will do the final briefing of the expedition. They will also take the opportunity to check the members' personal equipment as the city bazaars and climbing shops will provide the last chance to correct any deficiencies. Overnight at Hotel.
You will be driven to the airport in time to catch your flight to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. A scenic flight of about an hour to Lhasa with the stunning views of some of the highest peaks of the Himalaya including Mt. Everest and those Titanic lakes, the undulating Tibetan plateaus, are merely beyond belief. Upon your arrival in the world’s highest airport, the Gongga Airport, you will be welcomed and escorted to the hotel by our Tibetan guide. In the afternoon, we'll simply cruise around the city and then relax at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
We experience invaluable insights during our visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. This 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans' respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery. After visiting these two main monasteries of Tibet, we'll return to our hotel. Our dinner table has already been booked at the renowned Tibetan restaurant, and after that we have a cultural show to see which is worth watching. Overnight at Hotel.
Our tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter escorts us to this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Further, we visit to Barkhor Market which can be quite a change from other visits. As we roam around the city savoring every tiny detail from stall hawkers coaxing their clients to purchase their goods to exhibition, we also have views of Tibetan culture, custom and tradition. Eventually, the tour for the day concludes as we return to the comforts of our hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
The drive to Gyantse takes around 8 hours, crossing 2 high passes the Karo La pass (5010m) and Kamba La pass (4794m). Stop at Yamdrok Tso Lake (Turquoise Lake) the second largest lake in Tibet, an amazing place to take pictures with never ending Yamdrok Lake aside. At Karo La pass, we'll have the stunning glimpse of a hanging glacier tumbling down from a snowy peak of Nazin-Kangsa (7252m) to within a few hundred meters of the road. En route we'll encounter with many colorful Tibetan villages and eventually we arrive to Gyantse, the main center of Trade in Tibet in the past, for Indian and Bhutanese traders. After day's exhaustion due to long drive, you indeed deserve a refreshing shower and a delicious Chinese dinner. Overnight at Hotel.
Before leaving Gyantse, we have time this morning to visit the Pelkor Chode Monastery and Gyantse Kumbum. Pelkor Chode Monastery means “Auspicious Wheel Joy Monastery” in Tibetan language. It lies at the foot of the Dzong Hill to the west of Gyangze Town and the Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. It's just a pleasant couple hours drive to Shigatse, the second largest city after Lhasa in Tibet. After lunch we pay a visit to Tashi-lunbu Monastery, a prominent landmark of the region located on the southern slope of the Nyima Mountain and to the west of the Shigatse city. It is one of the four monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Overnight at Hotel.
The journey involves crossing of two high passes, the Tropu La (4890m) and Gyatso La (5250m - which is the highest pass of the trip) which cuts through several picturesque villages and will have spectacular mountain views all the time. En route we drop by the Sakya monastery which is renowned for the largest Sakya School Monastery nestled in the bosom of the city. It is about 40 km each way off the main friendship highway. This is the ancestral temple of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This is one among the few monasteries in Tibet which survived the Cultural Revolution. I bit that you will marvel at the inside decorations of monastery with countless gigantic statues of Buddhist gods and goddesses, made out of precious metals and stones. After visiting the monastery we'll have lunch before we leave for Shegar. Overnight at hotel.
After couple hours of drive on a Friendship Highway, we head towards the rugged road that leads us all the way to North face of Everest Base Camp. We will come across a Buddhist sacred place called Rongbuk, the home of the highest monastery in Tibet and a very renowned cave monastery of Guru Padmasambawa built in 8th centuries. Once again, there are some stunning views to be had of the Himalayas. Today you watch the incredible sight of Mt. Everest and its massif from the top of Phangla pass with uninterrupted views stretching from Mt. Makalu to Mt. Shishapangma. Below the pass, Everest initially is hidden from view, but as we turn the corner into the Rongbuk Valley it reappears, more impressive than ever. En route we can take a short break at Rongbuk Tented Tea house and continue our drive to Base Camp, which is 8km from Rongbuk. You will be pleased and amazed to see and meet the entire expedition crews waiting for all of you. From this day onwards you are going to sleep in your tiny little castle, Tent, and the real adventure begins here!
5 days will be spent at the base camp while our bodies adapt to the high altitude, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the views and taking the shots of Everest. For those feeling up to it, there are plenty of hillsides to scramble up, and Rongbuk Monastery lays an eight kilometer (five mile) walk down the valley. Another sight not to miss is Tillman's Camp, an idyllic spot beside the majestic Central Rongbuk Glacier, which offers staggering views of the north side of Everest. While there’s plenty to see in the valley, it’s important not to overdo it during this period - there will be plenty of opportunity for exertion later. At this phase of the expedition, climbers should be adapting to the altitude, drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and enjoying the cuisine of the Sherpa cooking staff. Overnight in tent.
The trek starts easily enough, crossing the pebble floodplain of the Rongbuk River, then weaving along a path between the glacier and the valley side. Today we can explore the Rongbuk Glacier and surrounding areas along the way. The views around this massive glacier are some of the best in the world. We will take a trail that rises to the east side of this ice cap and heads toward the peak of Mt. Everest. It was the discovery of this path in 1922 that provided the key to climbing the north side of Everest. Our trekking trail will meander over gravel hills to the west of the glacier until we get to Interim Camp. Another scenic day awaits us as we spend the night at the interim camp. What an amazing experience with ice pinnacles surround us in all directions! Overnight in tent.
Today is another day to rest and properly acclimatize. We are now at extremely high altitudes and must take all necessary safety precautions! Small excursions can be taken today and wonderful pictures abound. Overnight in tent.
ABC lies in the center of flattened gravel mounds next to the glacier. Today we ascend even farther into the intricate maze of ice as we meet up with the Changste glacier and can observe many of the challenging pinnacles, ridges, and even the rock summit of Everest. The reappearance of Everest is a pleasant distraction during the final climb, and as you round the corner toward the advance base camp (6440m) the whole northeast ridge can be seen, from the Raphu La to the summit. The shimmering triangle of snow highlighting the summit four kilometers away and two up will issues its siren’s call until your footsteps cross it! Overnight in tent.
To reach Camp I on the north Col, climbers ascend the glacier to the foot of the col where fixed ropes are used to reach the North Col. The climb to Camp I is more straightforward and safer as there will be two fixed ropes all the way up. Overnight in tent.
From the North Col, climbers ascend the rocky north ridge to set up Camp II. There is a long reasonably angled snow slope to 7,500m where we sometimes put our Camp II and it's on a snow ledge. Depending on the needs and conditions of our clients, we either put our camp II at this point on a snow ledge or move further on up a series of rock and gravel steps at 7,775m. Between these 2 camps, it is often very windy and you will probably come across worn and tattered tents from previous year's expeditions. Overnight in tent.
The route crosses the North Face in a diagonal climb to the base of the Yellow Band reaching the site of Camp III. The route remains relatively easy angled, although the gradient increases gently, until the next camp is reached. The camp III is normally on rock, but it used to be snow covered some years ago. The day is rewarded with stupendous views over the glaciers below. What were viewed as big mountains as they dominated the Magic Highway, now more easily blend with the humble backdrop of the Tibetan Plateau and the flatlands beyond. It is the last and the top most camp of every expedition from Tibetan side and standing at this altitude will certainly give you a greater sense of the world below your feet. From Camp III, climbers will make their final summit push. Overnight in tent.
Climbers face a treacherous traverse from the base of the First Step; ascending from 8,501 metres (27,890 ft) to 8,534 m (28,000 ft), to the crux of the climb, the Second Step: ascending from 8,577 metres (28,140 ft) to 8,626 m (28,300 ft). The Second Step includes a climbing aid called the "Chinese ladder", a metal ladder placed semi-permanently in 1975 by a party of Chinese climbers. It has been almost continuously in place since, and ladders have been used by virtually all climbers on the route. Once above the Second Step the inconsequential Third Step is clambered over: ascending from 8,690 m (28,510 ft) to 8,800 m (28,870 ft). Once above these steps, the summit pyramid is climbed by a snow slope of 50 degrees, to the final summit ridge along which the top is reached. Overnight in tent.
Expedition is over and with a feeling of great achievement, we'll bit adieu to the Mountain "Everest-the goddess mother of the snow". Today is a long day as we cruise downhill back towards the Everest base camp. Wonderful sights abound as we leave this amazing peak. Overnight in tent.
Today, we will drive passing through Thingri en-route Thorong La, Paigu-Tso Lake and Brahmaputra River en route. Savoring the enchanting views of the surrounding peaks of Shishapangma, Cho Oyu, Menlungtse and Gauri Shankar, we descend from the arid Tibetan Plateau to verdant Kyirong on the Nepalese border. After driving for 785 km, we find ourselves amidst the lush and verdant vegetation of Kyirong at 2700m. Overnight at hotel in Kyirong.
About 40 minutes driving from Kyirong, our China side transportation will drop us at the Rasuwagadhi border & our Chinese representative will be assisting us to clear Chinese immigration. Depending on season and number of tourist we may end up standing at the Chinese immigration for 1-2 hours (if not even longer). Once we cleared Chinese immigration we shall be crossing the (China-Nepal) border bridge over Trisuli river where we will meet our Nepal side drivers with transportation waiting for us. Within 10 minutes of driving inside Nepal we will be visiting Nepal immigration office to obtain reentry visas. After completing all these formalities, we will be driving back to Kathmandu via Syabrubesi, Dhunche the headquarters of Rasuwa district and Trishuli the headquarters of Nuwakot district. Driving through local villages, unpaved, winding road and on high mountain might be interest you. Depending on progress we may have stop at Syabrubesi/Dhunche for lunch. And continue drive back to Kathmandu for 5-6 hours depending on traffic. Remember, we will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner together in the finest restaurant in Thamel, in occasion of successfully completing your Everest Expedition!
Rest and relax at the hotel after such a long and wonderful expedition. For those eager to see as much of Kathmandu as possible, an early start is worthwhile to visit the temples of Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath and districts of Bhaktapur and Patan. Durbar Square is also on the essential list, as is the shopping area of Thamel. In the evening you can have your last night in Nepal, enjoying the Nepali cultural dinner show or go out to Thamel.
Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.
A deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is payable at the time of booking and the final balance due 8 weeks before the start of the trip. The act of booking implies that you have accepted the ethos of the trip and any objective or subjective risks associated with it.
Download Trip Note of Everest Expedition North
My experience with Grand Himalaya Treks and Expedition is excellent. Namgya Sherpa is not only one of the best climbers I know, strong, loyal and highly dedicated but also a very good friend and pleasant companion. I have climbed with Namgya on Antarctica in 2011 and Everest from the south in 2012. I am excited to join the 2015 Everest expedition from the north which will hopefully complete my Seven Summits.
Peter J. Boogaard